To be annoyed at how some people slag off the NHS?

(295 Posts)
snowtunesgirl Wed 28-Nov-12 16:45:55

No it's not perfect but I'm still grateful that we have a National Health Service where if you need an ambulance, they don't first check you for Health insurance.

A friend of mine wasn't feeling well and had a bad experience with his local GP where he's not registered and for some reason they wouldn't let him temporarily register as an emergency. Therefore, he had to go the Walk-In Centre which was about an hour away.

It turns out that he has an ear infection and tonsillitis so felt pretty rotten but he's making out that he was on death's door and is banging on about how the NHS is shit because the first doctor wouldn't see him. He's also saying that lots of people die on the NHS every day due to neglect. I'm not saying that this doesn't happen but surely it's more of a rarity than the norm?

I've had some shitty experiences with the NHS but on the whole a REALLY positive one. I think it's a shame that all the bad bits of the NHS gets reported in the papers and somehow all the good stories never do. sad

catcalledginger Wed 28-Nov-12 16:49:29

Completely agree.

My experience hasn't been perfect but overall good nonetheless. DH is foreign and medical expenses/insurance are extortionate.

We are very lucky.

Another agree here. I can only imagine the bills DH and I would have had if we didn't have the NHS. DH has had more operations than I've had hot dinners!!

PeshwariNaan Wed 28-Nov-12 16:55:27

YANBU. Being from the US originally it terrifies me that the NHS is being picked apart. It really is under threat. The worst is that they're looking at our system to "improve" it!

Before I moved over I definitely should've gotten stitches for a deep thumb wound (glass cut), but stayed away from the hospital as the A&E would have taken about 6-8 hours and charged me somewhere around $3-4000, which I didn't have. I was between insurance coverage at the time (my insurance had just run out). So I cleaned out the wound, packed it up with sterilised cotton, and bandaged myself. It took a good few months but it healed without nerve damage.

Then there's the woman whose insurance was cut without her knowledge due to secret redundancies - she was presented with a $19,000 bill for her C-section...

I work for the NHS (Podiatrist) so I'm in at the thick end of people slagging it off sad

I hear :
"Well I've paid in all my life/people who haven't paid shouldn't get".

In that case, should a newborn baby in SCBU be denied because they haven't paid. And if they say "Well the mum has paid" - well all her contributions would be used up with maternity care ,would it not.

Everyone has their own perspective. Someone whose child is suffering because they can't have Speech Therapy because the NHS in it's wisdom decides not to replace someone on ML or who leaves, will not give a Monkeys that you can't have your feet treated every 3 months.

And the one that really boils my piss annoys me "I don't get anything else free, so I want to have my feet done" (Usually people who are physically fit and well). There are enough people with problems without seeing patients so they get their 'money's ' worth.

There won't be an NHS when I retire.
I won't retire until I'm 67 at this rate.
And for all it's faults, I have no desire to leave the NHS and go private.

snowtunesgirl Wed 28-Nov-12 16:57:53

70 I salute you. I was treated on the NHS for my flat feet and now I have arches again and no foot pain!

snow - that's one field of podiatry I don't involve myself in (Biomechanics) .
I'm your treatment and ulcers kind (wound care) and Diabetic Patient Education.

So I can be a bit saluted but not for that grin

70 - I'll salute you then. I hate feet at the best of times. My mum saw a podiatrist as her feet were rotten (not literally but not far off!!) but according to the podiatrist, they weren't the worst she'd seen. <wretches>

snowtunesgirl Wed 28-Nov-12 17:08:05

I salute you anyway 70! grin

desperateaboutweight Wed 28-Nov-12 17:12:06

I've had some shitty experiences with the NHS but on the whole a REALLY positive one"....I think this is the crux of the matter, to be honest.

If you had been the unfortunate recipient of a very bad experience on the NHS your perspective would change.

Some people are critical of the NHS because it let them down when they were in need.

Rather than being really annoyed at people who complain, why don't you get really annoyed at the service they receive?

My experience of the NHS this year has included but not been limited to:

1. Sitting in a meeting with a consultant to hear the PM results on my baby and finding out the there is no cause of death because they they had lost the placenta.

2. Having the appointment above, something that I dreaded more than anything I've ever had to do before or since, rearranged 13 times before the consultant actually turned up for the appointment.

3. Nearly bleeding to death because I had a retained placenta with complications and the gynae ward I was on had no working examination lights and the doctor trying to stop the bleeding was relying on the torch on his iphone that the nurse was holding up.

4. After being told our baby was dead, being put in a room with a video playing of a giggling baby on a two minute loop for over an hour.

5. Wandering around in tears trying to find an EPU that wasn't where the signs said it was and finding out later that they had moved it to a different building two years ago but no-on had been arsed to changed the signs since.

Glad you get to be on your high horse and be annoyed with me, OP, for having the termerity to complain.

I'd rather you were annoyed at this kind of service.

lyndie Wed 28-Nov-12 17:12:24

YANBU. Well said.

I have seen healthcare in other countries so basic it would make you weep, and in developed countries where lack of insurance leads to completely unnecessary deaths and suffering.

And people here moan about a 20 minute wait for an appointment!

ChaoticforlifenotjustChristmas Wed 28-Nov-12 17:13:44

70 then I'll salute you because my mum's diabetic so you're one of the ones contributing towards her treatment...well not you personally but ykwim smile

OP YANBU For all it's faults I'd choose the NHS over the US system any day.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Wed 28-Nov-12 17:15:23

I was about to weigh in with my whinges but my complaints don't begin to compare to yours, desperate. I am truly sorry for your loss and that it was aggravated in the manner you describe.

x2boys Wed 28-Nov-12 17:20:59

i work for the NHS i dont think people realise just how much the NHS is struggling during the labour years they threw money at it but the NHS just spent it on yet more managers [forget shopfloor workers ] computer systems that dont work,as a staff nurse i spend most of my days on a computer because we get into trouble if everthing is nt documented .Patient care is neglected. The ward i worked on was rebuilt from a day hospital just 5 years ago [costing god knows how much] it has been closed down for six months to gut it and completely rebuild [costing god knows how much] so males and females can use the same facillities . I,M at risk of redudancy despite having many years experience but there are never enough staff?!

Cortana Wed 28-Nov-12 17:21:15

Exactly OP. No health service free at the point of delivery or otherwise is perfect or without mistakes.

People imagine if they were paying for it it would magically be amazing and nothing would ever go wrong, because then you would be a paying customer! As if like magic all problems would vanish.

I think there is a huge difference between moaning about a major breakdown in service, which should not have happened/ only happened through gross negligence resulting in long term trauma and constant moaning about the nhs in general, such as waiting time at the GPs surgery, refusal to give antibiotics for a cough, an hour wait for an ambulance for a non-emergency call out etc. I am also fed up with people doing the second of these, but there are cases where the care has been unacceptable and this should be addressed. I am extremely grateful that I live in a country where my children have been born in a hospital with care freely available for any problems, where my son has been sent to hospital in an ambulance when he knocked himself out (playing football!), where I don;t have to worry about whether I can afford to pay for the GP call out when my back pain kicks in etc. However, there have been incidents that I would blame on individuals who that have left a lasting impression on me, where I haven't felt that the care to individual patients has left much to be desired.

snowtunesgirl Wed 28-Nov-12 17:22:54

desperate, I am truly sorry for your experience. sad But, and I'm sorry for the but here, but you are assuming that I would have an issue with you complaining.

When I was in hospital last year, the hospital made several failings with me and I am still bearing the brunt of them. I made a complaint about this as I felt that the service was sub-standard.

I do have an issue with bad service as per what I experienced and what you experienced. The reason for things like this happening is the failure of a very overstretched system where HCPs are being forced to overwork amidst impossible cuts.

My local hospital is currently being threatened with A & E and Maternity Ward closure which will further overtax nearby hospitals.

And yet, yes I am still grateful for the NHS. Would you rather be without the NHS?

NumericalMum Wed 28-Nov-12 17:30:40

Desperate I am truly sorry for your loss.

What is very bizarre is how people believe it would be better elsewhere. Maybe it would be but only if you are wealthy (very wealthy in some cases). For the vast majority the Nhs provides an amazing service which as someone not born here I thank my lucky stars for on a daily basis when I hear what my parents pay monthly for medical insurance.

CordeliaChase Wed 28-Nov-12 17:31:13

Unfortunately, with the amount of people treated by the NHS on a daily basis, there will be screw ups. Desperate, nobody could ever criticise you for complaining about the NHS given your terrible experiences. I am so sorry for your loss.

I used to work in the complaints team of a very busy hospital. Some of the complaints were heartbreaking. Others were just plain bizarre. Car parking complaints were common, which was crazy given the huge amount if empty spaces available. (Trust me, I used to go and check if there were spaces available after some complaints). Long waits in A&E for a none emergency (feeling rough so went to the accident and emergency department ) etc etc. most complaints are a breakdown in communication.

I was very proud to work for the NHS. I moved overseas, and had to take my two year old to the emergency room over here. I got an $800 bill for the treatment he received (luckily our health insurance will cover it). I had lots I treatment over the years through the NHS, maternity care being one of the main treatments. I didn't once see them holding their palms aloft asking for payment from me.

MolotovCocktail Wed 28-Nov-12 17:36:41

I completely agree: the NHS is one of the things - and perhaps the main thing - that Great Britain should be proud of

Look at it: squeezed by various Conservative governments over the years and it still a world-class system. It's battered. It lost it's polish. But my oh my, I wouldn't be without it.

I'm 30 in a couple of months. In my time on this earth, the NHS has saved my life twice. Without antibiotics for pneumonia, I'd be dead. My daughter had a Strep B infection as a baby and I can't bear to think what would have happened had she not been given promt antibiotics.

Thank Science for the NHS.

Oblomov Wed 28-Nov-12 17:37:54

Whats so awful OP about then checking to see if you have insurance? They checked when I was in the US. I had it. I didn't mind them checking. If I was told tomorrow that I had to buy insurance to get NHS treatment in the UK, I would buy insurance.

MolotovCocktail Wed 28-Nov-12 17:39:08

And thank the people who work within the NHS and make it what it is.

I had an ELCS with DD2 and my time in that NHS hospital and with those NHS staff were some ofthe happiest times of my life. I felt safe and cared for.

I know they're doing a job, but they're angels to me.

MolotovCocktail Wed 28-Nov-12 17:40:48

Dont people die of eality treatable ailments such as asthma in the US if they're checked but don't have health insurance?

MolotovCocktail Wed 28-Nov-12 17:42:34

'easily treatable' that should be.

And, of course people who do not pay NI should contribute to their NHS treatment. But people who live in America are left to die if they don't have insurance.

That is not the operable health system for me.

snowtunesgirl Wed 28-Nov-12 17:43:00

Oblomov, you might be able to afford insurance but many people would not.

Most of the declarations of bankruptcy in the US are from people whose insurance didn't cover what happened to them and they were left with an enormous bill.

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